7. Effectively strengthening environmental protection
Faster progress in work to improve the environment, particularly air quality, is what people are desperately hoping for, and is critical to sustainable development. We must adopt well-designed policies, tackle both symptoms and root causes, and take tough steps to make the grade in responding to the people.
We will make our skies blue again.
This year, we will see that sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions are both cut by 3 percent and that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) density in key areas falls markedly.
First, we will work faster to address pollution caused by coal burning. We will take comprehensive steps to reduce non-centralized coal burning operations, promote clean winter heating in the northern region, replace the use of coal with electricity and natural gas in more than 3 million households, and shut down all small coal-fired furnaces in established districts of cities at the prefectural level and above.
We will step up work on upgrading coal-fired power plants to achieve ultra-low emissions and energy conservation. Upgrading should be completed this year in the eastern region, next year in the central region, and by 2020 in the western region. We will act quickly to improve our mechanisms and technologies, enabling us to prioritize the integration of clean energy sources into the electric grid and effectively address wasted hydro-, wind- and solar-power generation capacities. We will develop nuclear power in a safe and highly efficient way. We will also work faster to make comprehensive use of straw.
Second, we will take a full range of measures to tackle the sources of pollution. We will take focused actions to curb pollution in key industries. We will place all key sources of industrial pollution under round-the-clock online monitoring, and ensure the quality of monitoring. We will set a clear deadline by which enterprises must meet required discharge standards, and take resolute law-based action to close down all those that still fail to meet standards after the deadline.
Third, we will strengthen control over exhaust emitted by motor vehicles. We will see that basically all higher-emission vehicles are scrapped, work faster to take old vehicles off the roads, carry out dedicated initiatives to deal with high-emission vehicles, and encourage the use of clean-energy cars. We will improve the quality of fuels and move faster to promote the use of those that meet National-VI emission standards in key areas.
Fourth, we will take effective steps to tackle heavy air pollution. We will strengthen analysis of sources of air pollution and research on the causes of smog to improve the scientific basis and precision of the steps taken. We will expand the coverage of mechanisms in key areas to ensure coordinated prevention and control efforts across regions, and enhance earlywarning and emergency response measures.
Fifth, we will strictly enforce environmental laws and regulations, conduct inspections, and hold violators accountable. Illegal dischargers and fraud must be punished in accordance with law. Officials who do a poor job in enforcing the law, knowingly allow environmental violations, or respond inadequately to worsening air quality will be held fully accountable.
Tackling smog is down to every last one of us, and success depends on action and commitment. As long as the whole of our society keeps trying, we will have more and more blue skies with each passing year.
We will strengthen the prevention and control of water and soil pollution.
This year, chemical oxygen demand and ammonia nitrogen emissions should both drop by 2 percent. We will effectively prevent and control water pollution in key drainage basins, regions, and sea areas and agricultural pollution from non-point sources. We will undertake rigorous investigations on soil pollution and develop and implement category-based measures to tackle this problem. We will take comprehensive measures to improve both urban and rural environments, advocate green living, and promote waste sorting. We will strengthen energy conservation and environmental protection industries and develop green remanufacturing and circular industries to ensure both environmental improvement and economic growth.
We will move forward with ecological conservation and improvement.
We will act promptly to set redlines for ecological conservation and hold firm to these lines. We will work actively to respond to climate change. We will begin to pilot projects to improve the quality of our forests and restore ecosystems along the Yangtze Economic Belt, and launch the second group of trial projects to conserve the ecosystems of mountains, forests, farmland, rivers, and lakes. We will turn more than 800,000 hectares of marginal farmland into forests or grassland. We will address the spread of desertification and stony deserts. These initiatives will enable us to accumulate more ecological wealth and build a green Great Wall of sustainable development.
8. Promoting social development to ensure and improve the wellbeing of our people
The wellbeing of the people is at the center of governance; it must be always on our minds and the responsibility for it must never leave our shoulders. Against the backdrop of challenging and complex environments both at home and abroad, it is all the more imperative that we prioritize efforts to ensure and improve the wellbeing of our people, spare no effort to deliver benefit to them wherever possible, and ensure their basic living needs are met.
We will strive to boost employment and business startups.
We will improve employment policy, strengthen employment training, and increase support for flexible employment and new forms of employment.
This year, 7.95 million students will graduate from college, the highest number on record. We need to effectively implement initiatives to promote their employment, to guide them in starting businesses, and to encourage them to work at the community level, providing our college graduates with multiple channels to find jobs or start their own businesses. We will implement and improve policies and see that demobilized military personnel are settled into new jobs. We will step up employment assistance to help vulnerable urban residents and people with disabilities find employment and to ensure that at least one member in every family currently with zero employment secures a stable job.
Employment is crucial to ensuring people's wellbeing. We will focus our effort on facilitating employment to see that through their hard work, people can create wealth and realize their full potential.
We will work to ensure that our people have access to equitable and quality education.
We will combine the separate policies for rural and urban students receiving compulsory education that waive tuition and miscellaneous fees, supply free textbooks, and grant living allowances for boarders from financially disadvantaged families. We will make compulsory education accessible as a public service to all permanent urban residents, with and without local urban household registration. We will continue to improve conditions in badly built and poorly operated schools, and expand the reach of quality educational resources, so as to narrow the gap in the quality of education between urban and rural areas, different regions, and different schools.
We will continue to expand the enrollment of students from poor rural areas at key colleges and universities. We will increase government grants for PhD students. We will strengthen efforts to develop more world-class universities and first-class fields of discipline. We will continue to encourage some undergraduate institutions to shift their focus toward providing applied education.
We will pilot comprehensive reform of the college entrance examination system; accelerate the development of modern vocational education; ensure ethnic minorities improve their education; and make sure that we have good special needs education, continuing education, preschool education, and education for senior citizens. We will support the development of private education and work to ensure it meets all relevant standards. We will work to improve teacher performance. The Modernizing Chinese Education 2030 initiative will be developed and launched. We will develop education that satisfies the needs of our people, make the modernization of education underpin the modernization of our country, and see that more children realize their dreams and more families have their hopes fulfilled.
We will make continued progress in building a Healthy China.
We will increase both government subsidies for basic health insurance for rural and nonworking urban residents from 420 to 450 yuan per person per annum and personal contributions, and will expand the scope of this insurance to cover more medicines. We will accelerate the building of a nationwide information network for basic health insurance so that healthcare costs can be settled directly where incurred. We will improve the major disease insurance system and increase insurance benefits for subscribers.
We will launch nationwide trials to establish partnerships of different forms between medical institutions operating at different levels. All municipal-level public hospitals will be expected to participate and play a leading role in this initiative. We will establish performance evaluation and incentive mechanisms that encourage the coordinated use of quality medical resources with a view to improving the capacity of community hospitals and conveniencing people by enabling access to medical services closer to home. We will extend trials to use a tiered diagnosis and treatment model and a contracted family doctor service system to cover over 85 percent of prefectural-level cities in China.
In promoting better health, we will continue to increase government subsidies for funding basic public health services and strengthen the development of the disease prevention system and the chronic disease prevention and control system. We will respond to public health accidents promptly, publicly, and effectively. We will work to ensure that medical practitioners remain motivated and that interactions between doctor and patient are amicable. As the policy of allowing couples to have two children has been adopted, we need to strengthen our maternity medical and healthcare services. We will support the development of traditional Chinese medicine on the basis of law.
The safety of food and medicine is important to the health of our people and therefore demands regulation of the utmost rigor. With this in mind, we will improve the related regulatory system and mechanisms, and strengthen regulatory agencies on the ground. We will ensure that responsibilities are fully assumed by all those involved; and we will exercise regulation that starts with the source, place equal emphasis on regulation over production and management, and see that serious violations are severely penalized. We will be firm in doing all we can to ensure the safety of food and medicine for our people.
We will weave a strong safety net to ensure people's wellbeing.
We will continue raising basic pension payments and see they are paid on time and in full. Standards for benefits for entitled groups and social assistance benefits will be steadily raised, and the emergency aid system will be fully implemented. We will adjust and improve the natural disaster subsidy mechanism, and finish the rebuilding of all houses damaged during flooding last year.
We will strengthen efforts to ensure the care and protection of children who remain in rural areas while their parents work away in the cities and provide support for children living in difficult conditions in both rural and urban areas. We will provide care and assistance to the families of military personnel and revolutionary martyrs and elderly people who live alone. We will achieve full coverage in providing living allowances for people with disabilities in financial difficulty and nursing care subsidies for people with severe disabilities.
County-level governments must put in place coordination mechanisms for meeting people's most basic needs. They must make sure there is a social cushion in place, letting those in real need feel support is there and see hope up ahead. We will use a combination of legal, administrative, and economic means to continue resolving the problem of wage arrears for migrant workers, never allowing their hard work to go unpaid.
We will develop cultural programs and industries.
We will foster stronger observance of socialist cultural and ethical standards, and continue to use the Chinese Dream and core socialist values to build consensus, pool energy, and strengthen our people's confidence in Chinese culture. We will work to ensure that philosophy, the social sciences, art, and literature develop and thrive, and promote the development of the press, publishing, radio, television, film, and archiving. We will develop new types of think tanks with distinctive Chinese features. We will implement the programs to keep fine traditional Chinese culture thriving and see that China's cultural relics and intangible cultural heritage receive effective protection and play fuller roles. We will work hard to foster a love of reading in our people and enable them to learn more about science.
We will make basic public cultural services more equitable. We will speed up our work to develop cultural industries, strengthen regulation over cultural markets, and foster a healthy cyberspace environment. We will deepen personal and cultural exchanges with other countries and do more to share Chinese culture with other countries. We will make full preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Beijing. We will promote coordinated development of recreational and competitive sports and sports industries, and launch extensive Fitness-for-All initiatives so that more people will enjoy sports and stay fit and healthy. When its people are healthy and optimistic, a country will certainly be full of vitality.
We will explore new forms of social governance.
We will improve the system of primary level self-governance and strengthen community governance in both urban and rural areas. We will see that trade unions, Communist Youth League organizations, women's federations, and other people's organizations fully play their roles. We will reform and improve the system for regulating social organizations, promote the healthy development of public-interest activities and charity on the basis of law, and promote specialized social work and volunteer services.
The legitimate rights and interests of women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities will be effectively protected. We will move faster to improve the social credit system, and work to heighten public awareness of rule of law and strengthen legal services. We will enforce the responsibility system for handling public complaints and see that justified demands are addressed promptly and locally in accordance with law.
We will continue to pursue the Peaceful China initiative, improve the multidimensional, IT-based crime prevention and control system, crack down hard on violent terrorist activities, and punish organized crime,drug-related crime, and common crimes like theft, robbery, telecommunications and online fraud, and infringement of personal information, thus upholding China's national security and social stability. We will work to see that law is enforced in a strict, standardized, fair, and civil way, address prominent problems that endanger public security, and take comprehensive measures to ensure the security of our people.
We will ensure workplace safety and protect people's lives.
We must work with tireless dedication to ensure workplace safety. We will strengthen the development of safety infrastructure, and ensure the quality of work related to seismology, meteorology, surveying, mapping, and geology. To curb the occurrence of serious and major accidents and protect the lives and property of our people, we will strictly enforce the workplace safety responsibility system, and see that all responsibilities are fulfilled, namely, the primary responsibility of the enterprise itself, the regulatory responsibility of the government in the locality where the enterprise is located, and the oversight responsibility of the relevant government department.
9. Strengthening the all-around improvement of government
We must uphold leadership by the Party, willingly maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, uphold the leadership core, and keep in alignment. We should firmly uphold the authority of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core; closely follow the Central Committee in terms of thinking, political stand, and action; and speed up efforts to transform government functions and improve government performance so as to deliver better services to the people.
We will continue to work to see that government functions are fully carried out in accordance with law.
Governments at all levels and all government employees must meet every requirement for fully advancing China's law-based governance. We must strictly observe the Constitution; we must hold the rule of law in the highest esteem; we must hold the law in reverence; we must conduct administration in accordance with law, and we must build a rule of law government. We will make government operations more transparent. We will ensure that policies are made in a sound and democratic way on the basis of law; and we will widely solicit input and criticism from all interested parties in policy making.
We at all levels of government must subject ourselves, as required by law, to oversight by people's congresses and their standing committees at the corresponding levels, to the democratic oversight of CPPCC committees, and to public oversight and oversight through public opinion. We should willingly solicit input from deputies to people's congresses, members of CPPCC committees, other political parties, chambers of commerce, public figures without party affiliation, and people's organizations. As ours is a government of the people, all of our work must reflect their will, safeguard their interests, and be placed under their oversight.
We will maintain ethical conduct and moral integrity at all times.
We will continue to make every effort to fully strengthen Party self-governance, improve Party conduct and moral integrity, and effectively combat corruption. We will act with firm resolve to implement the Party Central Committee's eight-point decision on improving Party and government conduct, and make continued efforts to correct formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism, and extravagance.
We will strengthen administrative supervision and auditing-based oversight. We will continue to maintain a tough stance against corruption. With the focus on key areas, we will conduct full investigations into and punish corruption and other forms of misconduct that undermine people's interests. All public servants must have integrity, be upright, and get on honestly with their jobs of serving the people.
We will perform with a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility, and enterprising spirit.
China's remarkable achievements in reform and development are the work of officials and the people; the only way to make new achievements is more hard work. Governments at all levels and all government employees must make it our priority to get things done. In performing duties, we should work hard, in a down-to-earth way; and we should be innovative as actual conditions allow. Implementing decisions made at meetings of higher-level authorities and contained in the documents they issue does not mean just holding more meetings and issuing more documents. It's no good to just push paper and pay lip service.
We need to keep both the central government and local governments fully motivated, and encourage local governments to work according to local circumstances and be bold in their explorations, so that together we are all promoting sustainable and balanced development. We will strictly enforce the responsibility systems, particularly those for implementing key tasks. We must see responsibilities are fulfilled without fail, that pressure is felt at every level of government, and that implementation is carried out to the letter.
We will strengthen oversight and accountability, take tough steps to address incompetence, inertia, and negligence, and resolvedly address failures to act in good faith in government work. We will improve mechanisms that give incentives and allow for and address mistakes so as to support those who are dedicated to their work and stand behind those who live up to their responsibilities.
Every one of us in government must take an active approach to our work and have the courage to tackle the toughest problems; we must work closely with the people, using concrete action to make progress in development, and using genuine hard work to realize a bright future.